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Below, you can read about the life-saving veterinary care our amazing teams provide to pet patients.

Dallace is saved from a life-threatening intestinal condition

PDSA vets saved the life of five-month-old Doberman puppy, Dallace, who was suffering from a potentially fatal intestinal condition called intussusception.

Dallace’s owner, 21-year-old Laura Guest from Wolverhampton, was extremely worried when her much-loved puppy went off her food, began suffering from severe, bloody diarrhoea and was lethargic.

She said: “Dallace was diagnosed with Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) at a private vet when she was passing diarrhoea containing blood after she had accidentally got her paws on a jumbo bone which wasn’t suitable for puppies. She was treated and appeared to be improving at first, but then suddenly deteriorated again very quickly.

“I was worried about affording further vet bills, but needed to get Dallace the help she desperately needed, so I contacted my local PDSA for help. To my relief, I was eligible for their services. After I explained Dallace’s previous diagnosis and the recurrence of worsening symptoms, the vet team at Wolverhampton PDSA asked me to bring her to the Pet Hospital as soon as possible.”

PDSA Vet, Jane Trinder, said: “When Dallace arrived, we were concerned that her symptoms had come back despite initially effective treatment. We examined her and felt a hard mass in her tummy which wasn’t there previously, so we performed further tests to help us identify the cause. X-rays revealed a blockage, which could have been a foreign body or an intussusception - a life-threatening intestinal condition which can happen in young puppies as a result of diarrhoea. We needed to operate immediately to confirm the root of the problem and fix it.

“During surgery, we found Dallace was suffering from intussusception, when the bowel telescopes within itself, affecting the blood supply to the gut and causing a blockage. We needed to perform intricate surgery to remove the affected part of the intestines right away.”

Laura said: “When the vet explained Dallace’s condition, I was distraught. I couldn’t stop crying. Dallace and I had struck up an unbreakable bond in the short time she had been in my life and she means the world to me.

“I live alone and she provides company - she’s always with me, right by my side. She’s been a huge support and has motivated me, and I couldn’t bear to think about losing her. We have a special connection and I love her dearly.

“When Dallace was in surgery, the wait was agonising. It was all so daunting and worrying, but the team at PDSA let me know what was happening. They were all rooting for Dallace to pull through, which gave me hope at such a difficult time.”

Once Dallace had come around from the anaesthetic, vets explained to Laura that her beloved pup wasn’t out of the woods yet. She had undergone major surgery and, due to the nature of the condition and the complex surgical procedure, there was a risk of complications. Postoperative recovery needed to be monitored closely, so Dallace was referred for around-the-clock care at Oldbury PDSA Pet Hospital.

Laura said: “Despite PDSA’s amazing work, I was still apprehensive Dallace might not make it. She’d overcome one hurdle, but vets explained there were still many more to overcome. I was very worried when I took her to Oldbury PDSA, but I knew she was in the best hands.

“Thankfully, after a night’s rest and recovery at the Pet Hospital, I got the call to say I could collect Dallace! The vets were astonished at how well she was recovering after such a major operation.”

Dallace was allowed to return home to her loving owner with pain relief, antibiotics and probiotics. A bland diet was recommended, and she was under strict instructions to get plenty of rest.

Laura said: “Now, seven weeks on, Dallace is doing really well thanks to PDSA. Her poos are firm and she is eating digestive food mixed with puppy food.

“The whole team at PDSA were truly phenomenal. They were caring and compassionate, which really helped at such a difficult time. I’m so thankful to them for saving Dallace’s life, and I’m hoping to take on a fundraising challenge soon to say thank you.”

Felix the cat was critically ill due to a problem with his waterworks

Four-year-old tabby cat, Felix, from Heanor, Derbyshire needed life-saving treatment for a blocked bladder.

Felix’s owner Karen Smith (51) found him ‘hiding and making a really distressing cry, unable to get comfortable’. Concerned, she phoned Derby PDSA Pet Hospital for advise, after hearing his symptoms they advised her to bring him straight in for a check-up.

After running a series of tests, the charity’s vet team discovered the cause of Felix’s distress was a blockage in his bladder.

PDSA Vet Team Leader, Steffani Gardner, explains: “Felix’s bladder was blocked with crystals that had formed in his urine. It is an extremely painful condition that prevents pets from being able to pass urine.

“He needed urgent treatment. Our team quickly gave him pain relief to make him more comfortable. Then, while under a general anaesthetic, we broke down the blockage using an ultrasonic probe.”

But Felix’s problems weren’t over yet. The blockage had caused a significant amount of blood in his urine. He was placed on a catheter and IV drip started to help flush any further crystals and blood through his system while he healed.

Felix was then transferred to the charity’s Pet Hospital in Nottingham for 24-hour care. He remained in the hospital for the next two night, receiving medication and being closely monitored until his system was clear and he was able to urinate comfortably.

PDSA Vet Team Leader, Steffani Gardner, explains: “A blocked bladder is a serious emergency. If it isn’t treated quickly it can lead to kidney failure and in the worst cases it can be fatal. It is more common in male cats, so it's really important for owners to make sure they are passing urine every time they go outside or in the litter tray.

She continued: “Lucky for Felix, Karen brought him to see us in time and we were able to unblock his bladder and get him back home to his family.

“Unfortunately for Felix it is likely he will develop further problems in the future, so we will keep a close eye on him going forward to make sure we spot and treat any problems as soon as they start.”

He was sent home with antibiotics and hypovase, a medication that helps to relax the muscles around the bladder to allow easier passing of urine. Karen said: “After a couple of weeks Felix was back to his cheeky, loveable self, but we were told that there is a chance of it happening again.”

Felix is extremely special to Karen’s family and is one of four pets in the Smith family. Her husband, Simon, daughter Katie and sons Jake and Nathan all love their pets and were so distraught when Felix feel unwell.

At the age of one he went missing and they tried to trace him to no avail but 8 months later, he was spotted and reunited back with his owners. Luckily, thanks to Felix’s microchip, they were able to easily identify him.

Karen said “our pets, including Felix, helped us tremendously through lockdown, they are always ready to give you love when you’re having a bad day. I had a bad nervous breakdown in 2017, due to many personal issues, which led to me being finished from work. Alongside medication and therapy, the love and comfort I have received from my pets has been one of the most important factors to getting me back on my feet.”

She added: “During lockdown, like for many people, I found it very difficult but I grew a special bond with Felix and my other pets which helped when I had a down day. Also, my husband, Simon is self-employed, so at times it has been difficult with a lower income. Whenever the stress of the pandemic has got too much, my pets know and they curl up with me which instantly lifts my mood.”

“The vets and nurses at PDSA were amazing, and I have no doubt that they saved Felix’s life. Without PDSA I don’t know what we would have done, I could never manage without Felix in my life.”

What we've achieved

It was thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we were able to treat these pets, along with thousands more.

We couldn't have helped these poorly pets without the incredible support of people who donate, buy from our shops, volunteer their time and fundraise for us.

Here is what your support helps us achieve:

Want to help team PDSA save pet's lives? Every £1 entry will help us care for vulnerable pets like these.

© The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals
Registered charity nos. 208217 & SC037585
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